Name: Slowhand Pizza Contact: 99 Pape Ave., slowhandpizza.ambassador.ai, @slowhandpizza Neighbourhood: Leslieville Owners: Brett Feeley and Daniel Ewing Chef: Brett Feeley Seating: 10 indoors, 40 outdoors Accessibility: Not accessible
This is the first standalone kitchen for Slowhand, a pandemic success story that started as a pop-up running out of an east-end home in 2020. The pies regularly sold out, so Feeley and Ewing moved the operation into Gerrard St. Bakery last June. They outgrew that space, too, and decided to look for their own brick-and-mortar location, which they found and took over in December. Slowhand takes cues from Detroit’s deep-dish tradition and Sicily’s focaccia-like crusts, but ultimately lands in its own category.
A long fermentation process yields a thick crust that’s still light and airy. Cheese is spread all the way to the corners, which gives each pie a golden, crispy crown along the edges, and since each rectangular pie is cut in fours, every piece is a corner trimmed with that beautiful frico.
Toppings are simple and high-quality, with thoughtful touches like house-made chorizo and silky parmesan cream sauce. The layer of toppings is shallower than a deep-dish, though liberally adorned with garnishes: a dusting of cilantro lime crema here, a drizzle of infused garlic-thyme oil there…
There’s your regular lineup of soft drinks alongside nostalgic favourites like Tahitian Treat, Pop Shoppe cream soda and root beer, hard-to-find Topo Chico and sugar cane–sweetened Mexican Coke. Slowhand is waiting on its liquor license, at which point it hopes to partner with local producers to offer beer and spirits.
The room, which offers a small number of seats, is pretty minimalist in design, with the exception of a sweet mural by local artist Justin Broadbent that depicts brand-related concepts in a dizzying abstract. See if you can spot the Colosseum, Detroit smokestacks, a mushroom and a creative rendering of Trevor.
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